Exclusive: Electric truck maker Xos in deal talks to go public - sources

(Reuters) - U.S. electric vehicle maker Xos Trucks Inc is in talks to go public through a merger with blank-check acquisition company NextGen Acquisition Corp which could value it around $2 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

NextGen is in discussions with investors about raising financing for the deal in the form of a private investment in public equity (PIPE), the sources said. If successful, an agreement could be announced as early as this month, the sources added.

The sources cautioned that the negotiations could end with no agreement and asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential.

Xos and NextGen declined to comment.

NextGen’s share price rose 12% to $11.69 on the news before trading was halted due to volatility. When trading resumed, it rose to about $14 at 3 p.m. EDT (2000 GMT), a gain of 34%.

North Hollywood, California-based Xos, which rebranded itself from Thor in 2019, builds electric trucks designed to replace equivalent diesel vans. Its customers include package delivery United Parcel Service Inc and cash-handling firm Loomis.

NextGen is a so-called special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) led by ex-Goldman Sachs Group Inc banker George Mattson and Gregory Summe, who previously was managing director at buyout firm Carlyle Group Inc. It raised $375 million in an initial public offering (IPO) on Nasdaq in October.

Xos would be the latest company developing an electric truck to go public through a merger with a SPAC, following the likes of Nikola Corp and Lion Electric Co.

A SPAC is a shell company that raises funds in an IPO with the aim of acquiring a private company, which then becomes public as result of the merger. For the company being acquired, the merger is an alternative way to go public over a traditional IPO.

Reporting by Joshua Franklin in Miami and Anirban Sen in Bangalore; Editing by Cynthia Osterman